Red Bull: Verstappen claims 61st win in Spain, Pérez finishes P8

    Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

    Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen claimed the 61st race win of his career at the Spanish Grand Prix, while Sergio Pérez found himself back in the points.

    The 26-year-old reigning world champion started second on the grid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and found himself forced off the track right from the start as McLaren's Lando Norris looked to protect his pole position.

    The move did not work out, however, as Mercedes' George Russell went around the outside to take the lead, while Verstappen moved past Norris quickly on Lap 1.

    It did not take long for Verstappen to take the lead, overtaking Russell through Turn 1 just two laps into the race.

    A couple of smart pit stops before Norris allowed the Dutchman to catch up and regain his lead both times, extending his gap and keeping him firmly ahead of the pack, finishing the race with a 2.219-second gap to Norris.

    The victory, his seventh of the season, extended Verstappen's lead in the Drivers' Championship. He now has 219 points, with a 69-point buffer between him and Norris, who climbs to second for the first time in his career with 150 points.

    Speaking of his race, Verstappen commented: "I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, I had to go onto the grass a bit, which lost me momentum."

    "Then, of course, we braked quite late into Turn 1 but I was quite determined to try to get the lead. Once I was in the lead I could look after my tyres a bit better and that definitely made my race today."

    He concluded: "Just managing the tyres, they get very hot around here with all the high-speed corners, you're sliding around quite a lot, so yeah just managing the race throughout."

    Meanwhile, it was also a fairly positive day for teammate Sergio Pérez, who was back in the points after missing out in the past two races, with both ending in retirements due to collisions

    Pérez began the race in P11, having taken a three-place grid penalty in the Canadian Grand Prix, but he was able to climb up to P8 in the final lap, overtaking former Red Bull and current Alpine driver Pierre Gasly.

    The result will be a positive boost for the 34-year-old, who has come under fire recently for some of his performances, and the hope will now be that he can build on this and put himself closer towards the top of the grid once again.

    Speaking about Pérez's race, Team Principal Christian Horner commented: "We put him on a three-stop and it worked out. He passed Gasly on the last lap. He will take quite a bit of confidence out of that race."

    "Theoretically we said eighth was the best he could do when you look at all the sims and he achieved that. We do need to get him more in the mix."

    "If I'm not wrong, we have scored the most points as a team, so as long as we keep doing that, the constructors' continues to look healthy."

    "Sergio had a great start to the year. We just need him to get back to the form that he had in the first four or five races. We know he can do it, it's just getting him into the right headspace to deliver."

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